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Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/12/22 9:18 p.m.

I'm actually disappointed at the half-truths and outright fear of rotorcraft, and homebuilt aircraft in general displayed in this thread. I hope most of you are joking, but I  believe some of you ...are not.

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
1/12/22 9:38 p.m.

All the people I've known who had a homebuilt helicopter (one) have died crashing it.

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
1/12/22 10:55 p.m.

I'd suggest something like a Rotorway Exec 162F. Guys have put little turbines on them, makes them a pretty slick little 2 seater.

I come from a multi-generational flying family. My dad, me, and my aunt all flew. My dad had a cousin that was in the air on D-Day. Unfortunately the "enemy aircraft" he shot down that day was a P-51. So, yea... Luftwaffe JG2 Richthofen Squadron.

My dad's comment when I went looking at getting my helicopter rating was "Never fly anything that has a wing that goes faster than the fuselage"

 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
1/12/22 10:55 p.m.

In reply to M2Pilot :

Well you don't really know me and I only crashed when a few inches off the ground in an experimental human powered helicopter but I survived unharmed. Snapped a main rotor blade off though which was $10,000.00+ I was told.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/12/22 10:59 p.m.

So you have crashed an experimental helicopter but did not die. So we're at 100% crash rate but 50% survival. The trends look good. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
1/12/22 11:54 p.m.

Hey, my only point in what I posted was that getting any helicopter (in fact any flying apparatus that carries you) without good instruction and lesson is idiotic and suicidal. 

 

I doubt you disagree. If you do, yeah...  I'll fight that point.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/13/22 12:06 a.m.

I thought that the smaller the aircraft, the closer to death you get?

 

Also.....2 stroke motor?

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/13/22 12:09 a.m.

Helicopters are awesome. I don't know anything about the ultra light ones, but I have a friend with a fleet of Robinson  R44s and they have been safe reliable machines for him. Personally for recreation I'd prefer a light STOL airplane for efficiency and safety. As far as crashing and dying in a helicopter, its a pretty cool way to go and everyone dies from something. If you pay good attention to weather, know the area you are flying in, and don't do stupid helicopter tricks, you are probably more likely to die commuting to work in a car.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/13/22 12:49 a.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

I thought that the smaller the aircraft, the closer to death you get?

 

Also.....2 stroke motor?

Lots of ultralights use 2 strokes because of the power to weight. An ultralight's main concern is staying at or below 254lbs. empty weight. So, yes, 2 stroke.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/13/22 1:06 a.m.

I do have a friend who is a pilot. He crashed and survived, but only because the lake he was pulling baskets of water from to fight a fire had some nearby fishermen who dragged him out. He made the crucial mistake of not getting checked out in the helicopter because he was told it was the same as the previous one he had been flying.... and it kind of was but had less tail rotor thrust or something. So he picked up a basket of water and the helicopter started doing 360's. 

Also, my cousin is a helicopter mechanic and he told me all about the Jesus nut. You all know about that thing?

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
1/13/22 1:59 a.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Yep, if that nut gets loose, the next person you're gonna see is Jesus.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/22 6:16 a.m.

I have a paraglider that I purchased off of marketplace and I trust that 1000x more than a helicopter. Power lines when ascending and on descent are my largest concerns with it. 

A helicopter though. All the problems and more and without the ability to coast. If I'm leaving the ground I want some ability to perform a dead stick landing and with a Helicopter believing in the ability to perform one consist of starting by lying to yourself about your own abilities as a pilot. 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/13/22 7:54 a.m.
M2Pilot said:

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Yep, if that nut gets loose, the next person you're gonna see is Jesus.

This is my learning of the day for a Thursday.  Jesus nuts - a GRM tutorial.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
1/13/22 8:10 a.m.

I looked into these because "OMG FOR THE PRICE OF A NEW CIVIC I COULD FLY!"

Then I told my wife, and sadly that's where the conversation ended. She'll put up with a lot--mountain bikes, 500 hp race cars, rally, small fixed wing planes, etc--but said helicopters were off the table.

Telling her "no no you don't even need any training or license or permission!" Didn't seem to help.

She's probably the reason I'm still alive....

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
1/13/22 8:19 a.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

Also.....2 stroke motor?

Two strokes are simpler, lighter, cheaper and more reliable than four strokes, but you give up fuel economy and emissions. It's all about priorities.

My Son's friend showed up with a helicopter similar to that one day, landing it between the house and the barn. His parents sent him to some really expensive helicopter flying school and he was on his first solo flight. He got a good paying job flying for a mine in the north, and one day on a road trip to get parts for the company, he was picked doing 140 in an 80 zone in the company truck and lost his job. I could write a book about all the stupid things this kid has done, often at his parent's expense.

jharry3
jharry3 Dork
1/13/22 8:31 a.m.

I have two friends who were US Army helicopter pilots.  One flew medi-vac in Viet Nam and continued his flying for years in a National Guard unit, the other was CO of a helicopter maintenance unit at an Army base.  They both told me of the extensive training they went through before being allowed to fly on their own.   Just learning to hover  a few feet off the ground and remain stationary was enough to wash out a high percentage of hopefuls.   

So what's my point?  If you don't have the time, money, and patience to learn to fly a helicopter properly, and can wait until an experienced pilot tells you that you are ready to solo,  don't get into it.    Even the ego maniac Tom Cruise, who does fly his own helicopter, flew with an (expensive) instructor for a long time before going solo.  And its not a skill with a long half-life.  You have to keep doing it to stay proficient.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/22 8:36 a.m.
Folgers said:

An old quote from a guy with a helicopter I knew. “ A helicopter is a thousand moving parts trying to get away from each other.”

I've heard "a collection of parts flying in loose formation" which makes sense if you understand the amount of flexibility in an ordinary helicopter. To make an aerobatic helicopter all of that flexibility has to be removed, which also makes them less forgiving...

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/13/22 9:06 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

I looked into these because "OMG FOR THE PRICE OF A NEW CIVIC I COULD FLY!"

Then I told my wife, and sadly that's where the conversation ended. She'll put up with a lot--mountain bikes, 500 hp race cars, rally, small fixed wing planes, etc--but said helicopters were off the table.

Telling her "no no you don't even need any training or license or permission!" Didn't seem to help.

She's probably the reason I'm still alive....

"No training..." Every Ultralight pilot alive will will immediately tell you that's the quickest way to get dead. Everyone reads no FAA license required as I don't need training. Anyone contemplating this or a fixed wing ultralight NEEDS to come to Oshkosh. Questions will be answered that you didn't even know existed.

barefootskater5000
barefootskater5000 PowerDork
1/13/22 10:13 a.m.

I keep telling my wife that once the kids are grown and out that im learning to fly. Maybe im a bit yellow, but I think I'll stick to a winged craft. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/13/22 10:17 a.m.

There are a few home built helicopter people where my sister lives (Rotorway).  The one statement I heard that seems to sum up the ownership experience:

"On ever flight, you are always looking for a place to land" (auto rotate in)

(doing a bit of guessing here). Cars normally cruise at something like 20% power use, airplanes at 60%.  A home built helicopter is probably closer to 80% power.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/22 10:29 a.m.

A guy I know from NAPA built a one man helicopter, he's teaching himself to fly around the corn fields.

Haven't seen him all summer though ......

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/13/22 11:20 a.m.

My helicopter story...  We live overlooking a country club in a small town.  Often the approach to the 18th green gets used as an impromptu helipad.  

This picture taken from inside my house, through living room window and no zoom used; really that close!  

Crappy video taken from my own back yard after we heard the copter approaching.  

 

 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/13/22 11:36 a.m.

Helicopters are really cool and they're capable of autorotation in the case of engine failure but a big part of what makes them cool is their ability to operate at low speeds a low altitudes.  The exact same conditions under which autorotation is unlikely to be possible.

I've witnessed a helicopter crash.  This one.  Ever since then I've had no desire to get on one.  I also get tense whenever I'm near one that's operating near the ground. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/13/22 11:55 a.m.
jgrewe said:

I'd suggest something like a Rotorway Exec 162F. Guys have put little turbines on them, makes them a pretty slick little 2 seater.

I come from a multi-generational flying family. My dad, me, and my aunt all flew. My dad had a cousin that was in the air on D-Day. Unfortunately the "enemy aircraft" he shot down that day was a P-51. So, yea... Luftwaffe JG2 Richthofen Squadron.

My dad's comment when I went looking at getting my helicopter rating was "Never fly anything that has a wing that goes faster than the fuselage"

 

Just the series of belts used to power the tail rotor on an Exec was enough send me walking.

If memory serves, two belt and four pulleys all must work correctly...snap a belt, jump a pulley, oil leak on belt, crack a pulley, bearing failure, etc.  A high-level FMEA just on having a functional tail rotor would take me hours - no thanks.

BTW, I learned to fly when I was seventeen so it's not like I'm aviation adverse.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/13/22 12:12 p.m.

My only comment on helicopters right now, is that they're driving my wife insane. We live close to the hospital, and she works at the hospital. Since Omicron got bad here, we've been hearing at least 3 helicopters a day at home, and obviously more at work for her. She says she feels like she's in Goodfellas. 

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